The Cross River Government has vowed that it will no longer compromise on issues of Gender Based Violence, GBV, in the state.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Rita Ayim, disclosed this on Friday in Calabar at the end of a four-day training of relevant agencies and Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, on the management of GBV.
She said “Situations where parents and guardians come to appeal for cases of GBV to be dropped will not be tolerated as the law will take its course and we will ensure we follow through on that.’’
The commissioner, however, commended the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, saying that its activities in the state had made the ministry more functional.
She appealed to participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired from the training in enlightening members of the public in order to curb GBV.
“As you go to your various areas, especially at the rural levels, ensure you use the skills acquired in this training in the campaign against GBV.’’
The Head of Calabar Office, UNFPA, Omolase Omosehin, noted that globally, GBV was on the rise, adding that one in every three women had been assaulted by a close partner in their life.
Omosehin also noted that Nigeria’s case became peculiar following crises within the country and neighboring nations, creating a large number of survivors who migrated into the country.
According to Omosehin, this requires the assistance of humanitarian workers who may not be skilled in GBV.
“So, we decided that it is worth the while for those who manage the refugees, especially in the area of GBV, are well trained to carry out this responsibility.
“I expect that the participants who are from different agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations ,NGOs, will go back and put the things they have learnt in practice and also build the capacities of those who were not able to attend the training.’’ She concluded
One of the resource persons, Head of Programmes, Girl’s Power Initiative, GPI, Calabar, Ndodeye Obongha, noted that with COVID-19, issues of GBV had increased globally.
Obongha said this necessitated the need for service providers to have the capacity to provide services for survivors, adding that such services needed to be collectively provided.
“I expect to see more synergy, collaboration, immediate response and improved capacity among relevant agencies in the campaign against GBV,’’ she added.